- Code HIST8011
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of History
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject History
- Areas of interest Australian Studies, History, Heritage Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Karen Fox
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Second Semester 2021
See Future Offerings
Biography is many things. It is the study of significant and ordinary individuals; it is the study of families and groups; it can shed light on specific historical periods and problems; it can provide a way of accessing individual and collective experience; it can illuminate the whole process of social and historical change. This course challenges students to think critically and creatively about the writing of biography in all its forms. What is the relationship between biography and history, biography and theory, biography and fiction? How do biographical studies incorporate theory? Should historians use different approaches to biography depending on the culture and/or gender of their subjects? How important is the relationship between biographers and their subjects? What special problems face the biographer of living subjects, or subjects in living memory? Through exploring questions such as these, students will develop a critical understanding of the complex issues surrounding the writing of biography.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Describe and assess various approaches to researching and writing biography;
- Understand the relationship between biography, history and fiction;
- Evaluate new forms of biography and life writing such as those developed through feminist, postcolonial and Indigenous theories and approaches;
- Understand the uses of biography and life story in the humanities and social sciences; and,
- Demonstrate skills in researching and writing short critical biographical studies.
Indicative AssessmentParticipation in online forums, 1000 words (10%) Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3
Critical review, 2000 words (30%) Learning Outcomes 1, 5
Research essay, 3000 words (60%) Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up over 12 weeks from
a) 6 hours of individual supervision (an average of 1 hour per fortnight);
b) 24 hours contributing to moderated online discussion forums on the basis of assigned readings; and
c) 100 hours of independent student reading, research, and writing.
None. Readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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